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Dead cat bounce

Will coaching change spark the Raiders?

The Raiders fired their coach on Tuesday night and are plugging in a rookie picked in the fourth round at quarterback. And they’re still favored. That’s how bad the Giants are this year. But to me, I like the look of the line.

Aidan O’Connell was very impressive in the preseason. He was in command of the offense, outperforming the three quarterbacks picked at the top of the draft. It occurred to me at the time that O’Connell might be better than Jimmy Garoppolo.

It’s surprising to see Josh McDaniels’ tenure end this quickly. He put together a credible offense last year, with the team finishing 12th in scoring and 12th in yards. But it clearly wasn’t working, and I don’t think things can be any worse without him.

If history is any indication, the Raiders might get a modest spark from the shakeup.

This is the 40th in-season coaching change in the last 20 years. The previous 39 teams went 16-23 in their first games with a new head coach. They averaged 20.4 points in those games, which was almost 4 more than in their final games under the fired guys.

I think for those holding the likes of Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs, this coaching switch should be seen as a positive.

Only slight pause is that McDaniels tended to put together the most concentrated offenses in the league. That is, Jacobs got almost all of the touches at running back, and Adams and Jakobi Meyers sucked in almost all of the receiving production. With a new group taking over, we could see more of an effort to get others involved. (I will be interested to see if Zamir White now starts getting a half dozen carries per game.)

But sign me up for the Raiders on Sunday. I’ve got Adams in a couple of leagues, and I’ll be using him. And I think they’ll probably win the game.

TEAMS IN FIRST GAME WITH INTERIM COACH, 2000-
YearTeamOpponentsResultPrev Game
2003Atlantaat IndianapolisL 7-38W 20-14
2004ClevelandNew EnglandL 15-42L 48-58
2004Miamiat SeattleL 17-24L 23-24
2005DetroitMinnesotaL 16-21L 7-27
2005St. Louisat IndianapolisL 28-45L 31-37
2007Atlantaat Tampa BayL 3-37L 14-34
2008• St. Louisat WashingtonW 19-17L 14-31
2008Oaklandat New OrleansL 3-34L 18-28
2008San FranciscoSeattleL 13-34L 17-29
2009Buffaloat JacksonvilleL 15-18L 17-41
2010• Dallasat NY GiantsW 33-20L 7-45
2010• Minnesotaat WashingtonW 17-13L 3-31
2010• San FranciscoArizonaW 38-7L 17-25
2010Denverat ArizonaL 13-43L 6-10
2011• Kansas CityGreen BayW 19-14L 10-37
2011• Miamiat BuffaloW 30-23L 10-26
2011JacksonvilleSan DiegoL 14-38L 13-20
2012New Orleansat DenverL 14-34W 35-28
2013Houstonat IndianapolisL 3-25L 20-27
2014OaklandSan DiegoL 28-31L 14-38
2015• Miamiat TennesseeW 38-10L 14-27
2015• Philadelphiaat NY GiantsW 35-30L 24-38
2015• Tennesseeat New OrleansW 34-28L 6-20
2016• JacksonvilleTennesseeW 38-17L 20-21
2016Buffaloat NY JetsL 10-30L 31-34
2016LA Ramsat SeattleL 3-24L 14-42
2017NY GiantsDallasL 10-30L 17-24
2018• Green BayAtlantaW 34-20L 17-20
2018ClevelandKansas CityL 21-37L 18-33
2019• Washingtonat MiamiW 17-16L 7-33
2019Carolinaat AtlantaL 20-40L 21-29
2020• Atlantaat MinnesotaW 40-23L 16-23
2020• Detroitat ChicagoW 34-30L 25-41
2020• HoustonJacksonvilleW 30-14L 23-31
2021• Las Vegasat DenverW 34-24L 9-20
2021JacksonvilleHoustonL 16-30L 0-20
2022Denverat Kansas CityL 24-27L 14-51
2022Indianapolisat New EnglandL 3-26L 16-17
2022Carolinaat LA RamsL 10-24L 15-37
2023Las VegasNY Giants?L 14-26

—Ian Allan

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